She will always be our princess, our general, our cool head with a sassy retort ready for every occasion, however as we look forward to the release next week of the eighth Star Wars movie in the Skywalker saga, it is bittersweet as we are reminded once again of all we lost with the death of Carrie Fisher at the end of last year.
For many of us, Fisher has been Princess Leia all our lives. With even a brief cameo in last year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an Episode IX without General Leia (or whatever position she could have risen to by then) is hard to comprehend. With The Last Jedi being Fisher’s final film appearance in the saga, thoughts of her are never far from mind, for fan and colleague alike. Having started on the epic press junket associated with the new film, many of the cast have reflected on their memories of Fisher and the impact of her loss.
Speaking to Reuters, Mark Hamill described Fisher as “irreplaceable” and likened the situation to fan attitude towards The Beatles after they broke up. “It’s like every fan was dreaming of the day that The Beatles would reunite, and then we lost John. It’s just unbearably sad.”
He added, “In a way it’s sort of – Star Wars is about great triumph, and great tragedy, and I can’t think of a greater tragedy than missing our Leia.”
Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) also spoke about the poignancy of the film in the wake of last year’s events. “I think there is a sense that she understands – this is the character in the film – and I think the mirroring to life is uncanny, that she’s not going to be around forever. There’s a passing… a passing of the torch that’s going to happen.”
However, Fisher wouldn’t want us to be too maudlin. After all, Princess/General Leia is not one to sit around and let others do the dirty work. She’s going to kick some major First Order arse in The Last Jedi and I for one can’t wait to see it. Director Rian Johnson concurs and has revealed that we are “going to see some stuff with Leia that [we] haven’t seen before”, so be ready for anything.
As to how we leave Leia at the end of the film and moving forward, all involved are keeping very tight-lipped. What Johnson will say is that “there is some moments in it that will hopefully mean a lot to fans” and that it is up to “J.J. [Abrams] and Chris Terrio who are writing the next one right now on how they’re going to deal with the story going forward.” Adding to that, he said, “However it gets handled in the future I’m very thankful that we have this film.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas December 14 in Australia and December 15 in the UK and US.